How to Snowboard better than 95% of snowboard Instructors
How would you describe your snowboarding level?
- Absolute first time?
- OK, but progressing slow
- Starting to hate the spills, keep catching edges!
- Got my turns dialed, just want to go faster and steeper?
- I’m better than you, check this out!
The fact is that snowboarding can be a fun easy sport to learn.
The problem is people get lesson’s with snowboard instructors that are Not equipped with the right knowledge or learning skills to progress the rider(you) safely and naturally into the art of good a snowboarder.
…or they don’t even bother with the lesson, and head straight get up the hill and get wasted….( I actually did this)
Either way one of these approaches is unfortunate and Painful for the snowboarder at hand.
Chances are that you will still keep making the same mistakes while riding.
- still keep picking up too much speed
- still keep falling over while changing edges
- Still keep catching edges at speeds… (This one sucks!)
- still haven’t got the balls to hit that run
- Still be frustrated with your ability to ride confidently around the mountain.
Make no mistake, if you don’t fix the bad habits you created, you will never progress to the next level easily!
If your Basic stance and snowboard fundamentals aren’t strong and smooth, stepping it up on the board will always result in frustration, wipe-outs and potentially a good hospital bill!
But don’t worry…by the time you finish this article, you will have a good understanding of what a good snowboard progression looks like.
This is why every snowboarder who wants to learn how to snowboard fast and painlessly needs a Professional Snowboard Coach to bring them up to ripping (good) level as safely as possible.
So, how do you Snowboard?
Let’s start with the outline of the snowboard progression you go through to become pro.
STEP 1– Basic Stance
STEP 2– Learning how to snowboard
STEP 3– Edge control on the snowboard
STEP 4– Turning the snowboard
STEP 5– Mastering the Turn
STEP 6– Exploring Carving
STEP 7– Advanced Riding (carving, freestyle, back country powder)
By skipping anyone of these steps, you will ultimately slow down your own progression and end up spending more money and time on lessons.
Let’s get into it…
STEP 1- Snowboard Basic Stance
The basic stance consists of having your body in full alignment with your snowboard, by doing this we make the board and us (you) as one.
From here we can control, steer and ride the snowboard anywhere we want….
The Snowboard Basic Stance consists of:
- Even weight on both
- Knees slightly bent
- Hips and shoulders aligned with feet
- Straight back
- Arms relaxed
- Head looking to where you want to go
Always remember this stance, if you haven’t been snowboarding before, Remember this one thing and everything else will be easy.
STEP 2 – Learning how to snowboard Basics.
This is where you will learn the basics of the snowboard skill set, we use these skills to get on and off the chair lifts.
With one foot in, point your snowboard to where you want it to go and slowly push off with the back foot so that your board moves in the direction you want to go.
Once you have mastered Skating on a snowboard, it’s time to learn how to glide. This time when you push off with your back foot, put more effort into pushing off so you go further and at the same time place your back foot on the stomp pad in between your bindings.(once moving)
NOTE: Make sure you are on a flat surface.
This how we move around the hill with one foot out, we either climb, skate or glide.
Stand and face up the slope with your rear foot on the toe-side of the snowboard. Make sure the board is across the slope to prevent it from sliding down the hill.
Tilt the snowboard so the toe-side edge is the only part of the snowboard in contact with the snow. Take a small step with the back foot, then lift the entire length of the snowboard with the front foot stepping up to meet the back heel.
Now repeat the movement or replicate it going down the hill.
STEP 3- Edge control on the snowboard
This is where we learn how to use the edges of our board to control speed, steer and stop.
In this process there are 6 elements.
1) Straight runs
With one foot(front) clicked in we will practice gliding straight down a small hill to get the feeling of what it is like to slide and stay balanced at the same time.
NOTE: make sure you are in the learner’s area where you will stop naturally.
2) J turns
In this section, we will learn how to turn our snowboard across the hill with one foot out.
Here we have both feet strapped in and learning how to use pressure on our snowboard to start and stop our slide.
4) Falling leaf
With both feet clicked in we now start to learn how to direct our snowboard in the direction we want to go!
This where we get use to riding and stopping across the hill using our natural stance (front foot)
The goal here is to learn how to initiate and complete a turn, but without making an edge change.
This where a lot of people struggle, without the other skills in their bag of tricks, garlands can become very frustrating and painful.
STEP 4-Turning the snowboard
This is where we complete a single turn and edge change without thinking about preparing for the next turn.
By this stage of your riding, you are nearly ready to start linking your turns.
The final piece of the puzzle when it comes to linking your turns to make the shape of a S, basically this is just 2 C-turns combined together to form an S shape in the snow.
STEP 5- Mastering the Turn
So by now you are becoming quite competent and skillful on the old snowboard, it’s time to start ripping, slashing and causing a whole lot of trouble around the mountain.
You’ve got turns down, now you need to know how to gain even more control so we can improve your snowboard skills to the advanced level. (Black diamond runs, park, pipe, X-games, Olympics?)
Here we focus on:
- Turns shape (controlling speed)
- Rhythm and confidence
- How to adjust to different terrain
- Exploring the mountain (Blue/Black runs)
And in general, a more dynamic style of riding…..
This is where, if you don’t have the fundamentals down, your riding ability will really start to show.
STEP 6- Exploring Carving
Now, we are going to increase edge awareness, effective edging movements (angulation) and develop the feeling of having the snowboard hold an edge for an extended period across a slope.
Carving elements are as follows:
- Edged traverses
- Edged arcs
- Edged C-turns
- Linking edged turns
- Developing Edged turns
STEP 7- Advanced Riding (freestyle, back country powder)
By the time you reach this level, you are now ready to take your snowboarding to the park, pipe and powder
This is how I build rock star snowboarders that actually function like a pro snowboarder. I hope you enjoyed the read, Make sure you sign up for our Cheat sheet and please leave a comment below.